A Meditation on Renewal
Renewal brings with it hope. Each spring we see life renew itself and perhaps you also feel renewed in spring – more clarity, more focus, more plans as the energy of the earth energizes you. I hope you wake each morning looking at the world with awe and wonder and feel a renewed sense of purpose – your purpose each day.
This year, rebirth of the earth has a more nuanced meaning. The air may even seem lighter, as we celebrate the longer days and the sun rising higher in the sky. Spring and summer offer us a time of change and reassessment – looking forward to renewal.
Rebirth is a natural cycle of things, as well as a time for us to think about how we are renewing ourselves personally. This is a time to recognize our own resilience as we look to the future. It is a time to connect with who we are and all that we have learned about ourselves and our community during these past few months. It is a time to awaken to new possibilities.
You are also experiencing a renaissance and awakening to the moment. Allow yourself to bask in the quiet of the moment. Breathe into it. The breath always brings us into the present moment. Allow the breath to support you now. Breathe consciously with full awareness of your presence in the world.
By bringing yourself into stillness daily and by using silence to deepen your awareness, even for a brief time, you renew yourself each day. The practice of meditation helps us in this way. It allows you to go deep within yourself, without expectations, and to observe and recognize yourself in the present moment. The breath and mindfulness go hand in hand as you use the quiet to center and ground yourself in each new day. You bring your awareness to the present moment without any judgment. Your daily practice strengthens you and with time you become more resilient.
Today, why not try a walking meditation? Begin with a five-breath grounding practice outside. Simply stand tall, dignified, and feel your connection with the earth beneath your feet, even with shoes on. Close your eyes if you are comfortable. Feel deeply connected to the ground beneath you, through miles of earth to its very core. Take five deep breaths in through your nose and long exhales softly out your mouth. This might be a count of 4 on the inhale and a count of 6 or 8 on the exhale. Notice how you feel afterward. You can repeat this grounding practice as many rounds as needed to bring yourself into a calmer state. A longer exhale enables you to calm your nervous system and make it stronger.
With this walking meditation, which you can use at any time, you will walk slowly and purposefully. It can be around your yard or around your neighborhood. Without identifying anything, walk with your eyes open to the newness of colors and patterns. A walking meditation forces you to be present in each moment, as you place one foot in front of the other. Feel the air against you skin. Look at the patterns of leaves, tree branches, flowers, sidewalks, etc. Hear the natural sounds around you. Breathe normally. And enjoy the walk.
This walking meditation can be done for about 10 minutes. The connectedness you feel with the natural environment is very real, nurturing, and calming. Deepak Chopra suggests we go outside each day, preferably in bare feet and feel the energy that connects us to the earth.
When you have returned to where you started, use the five-breath grounding practice again to regain your center. Stay in the stillness around you, before returning to your day and all that you have planned. And the day will, I hope, hold more serenity and clarity for you. This grounding breath can be used at any time when you might feel anxious or off-kilter. By centering yourself and calming your nervous system, you are always ready to move forward.
One of my favorite poems, by Edna St. Vincent Millay, “Renascence”, written in 1912, inspired this article.
The world stands out on either side
No wider than the heart is wide;
Above the world is stretched the sky,—
No higher than the soul is high.
I know not how such things can be;
I only know there came to me
A fragrance such as never clings
To aught save happy living things;
A sound as of some joyous elf
Singing sweet songs to please himself,
And, through and over everything,
A sense of glad awakening.
Founder, Mindful By Design
Donna Isaac is an international consultant, facilitator, teacher, and writer. As a trained public art administrator, she also works with communities, non-profits, and boards to effectively use public art as an economic driver and to bring communities together. Donna is certified as a meditation teacher and coach and is the founder of Mindful By Design. She teaches mindful practices and meditation to individuals, teens, and corporations.
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